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Balancing act

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
November 21, 2013 1:40:04 PM PST
$2 billion. That was supposed to be the budget gap for New York City's next proposed budget. But no more. Mayor Bloomberg proposed his last budget today. And - for the first time in New York history, according to Mr. Bloomberg - an outgoing Mayor is leaving an incoming Mayor with a balanced budget.

That deafening sound of silence you're hearing is from the Mayor-Elect's camp. Bill de Blasio not exactly offering a boy-howdy thank you to hizzoner, saying instead he wants to take a closer look at the budget rather than accept it on faith that all is hunky dory.

Not an unsmart strategy - although some sort of thanks-very-much, but lemme-take-a-closer-look smiley response might have not rubbed so many the wrong way.

These budgets always have several "what if" scenarios, so the incoming Mayor is right to keep his guard up. One of the uncertainties is that every municipal union in New York City is without a new contract. Go ahead, read that sentence again. Will the unions get what most New Yorkers have gotten recently - which is a pay cut or flat salaries? We'll see. If they don't, that balanced budget could soon be out of whack. We'll have the latest on the biggest municipal budget in the nation, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, new calls for a crackdown on the so-called "Knockout Game" - the hooligan crime of roving groups of young men sucker-punching strangers at random. It's been happening, randomly, in several cities, including in our area - most recently in Brooklyn.

And hang on to your wallets - cause they're getting fatter, if you've been investing regularly and smartly in the stock market. The Dow closed today over 16,000 - yet another record high this year (more than 3 dozen highs so far in 2013). The market, in the long run, always the best investment. I did some checking - the year I was born, the Dow closed below 300. If only??

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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